Massage for Sciatica

Definition/Causes:
True Sciatica -pain and inflammation of the sciatic nerve root at L4, L5 and sacral plexus caused by disc protrusion or herniation, or by adhesions, fibrositis, degenerative joint disease


Pseudo Sciatica – sciatic nerve inflammation brought on by

piriformis syndrome, fibromyalgia, IT band syndrome.

Strain from imbalanced posture often causes sciatica.  Imbalanced posture can be caused by many things including right or left side dominance, the body protecting the internal organs and vessels in the shortened side, food allergies or intolerances, previous injuries, emotional distress and trauma.

True sciatica is pain and inflammation of the sciatic nerve root at L4, L5 and sacral plexus caused by something like a disc herniation, sometimes by adhesions, fibrositis, or another degenerative joint condition like arthritis. Pseudo sciatica is sciatic nerve inflammation brought on by piriformis syndrome, IT band syndrome or perhaps fibromyalgia. These conditions especially can respond well with massage therapy treatments. The strain from imbalanced posture in scoliosis can trigger sciatica. Flat feet or having one leg shorter than the other, food allergies, previous injuries to back or hips, and emotional distress or trauma can cause sciatic discomfort. These conditions would call for completely different courses of action such as orthotics, an exercise program, allergy treatments or even counseling.

Signs/Symptoms: pain referring down the hip, back of leg and possibly to foot intermittent or shooting pain numbness, muscle weakness, atrophy, foot droop, paralysis


Treatments: refer to physician to determine type of sciatica if due to disc problem, psoas work may assist in relieving pressure if due to piriformis tightness: balance hip rotators and pelvis

Other helpful therapies: Pilates, Physical Therapy, Feldenkrais, Chiropractic, Naturopathy, Acupuncture, Changes in Diet

Resources:

Sciatica – from Back.com

Mayo Clinic – Sciatica

Power of Touch Clinic – Client Handout on Sciatica

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